OF THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST AND OF ANTICHRIST
1. Christ saith that he came for this purpose into the world, even to testify and bear witness of the truth, and that his word is the truth: again, that tho Holy Ghost shall lead us into all truth; hereby manifestly declaring that in his holy word is contained sufficient doctrine for our salvation; as St. Paul saith: All scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable to teach, to improve, to amend, and to instruct in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, and prepared unto all good works. Likewise said the woman of Samaria to Christ: I know that Messias shall come, which is called Christ; when he is come, he shall tell us all things: And the apostle, in his exhortation to the elders of Ephesus, said: I have kept nothing back that was profitable unto you, etc. Again: I have shewed you all things.
Antichrist saith that though it be truth that is contained in the bible, yet all truth necessary unto salvation is not there to be found; but there are other truths as necessary to be believed under pain of damnation, as those that be contained in the holy scripture and they be called unwritten verities. He saith moreover that his decrees and laws are required as necessarily to be kept as the commandments of God, and addeth moreover that they be of equal authority with the word of God.
2. Christ saith that no man can come unto him, except his Father draw him; again, that all shall be taught of God; signifying hereby that no man can understand and perceive the mysteries contained in the word of God, except they be revealed and opened unto him by the Spirit of God, which alone is the author thereof; forasmuch as a natural man cannot come unto the understanding of those things that belong unto the Spirit of God. And as St Peter saith that the scripture is not of a private interpretation, that is to say, not to be expounded after the judgment of reason, and as every man of his own brain fantasies, but as God is the alone author of the word; so is the true understanding thereof to be begged of God alone by fervent prayer and by diligent conference of the scriptures. David, considering this, prayed to God on this manner: Open thou mine eyes, that I may see the wondrous things of thy law. Make me to understand the way of thy commandments, and so shall I talk of thy wondrous works. 0 learn me true understanding and knowledge. 0 give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments, etc. And St Paul, writing to Timothy, saith: God give thee understanding in all things.
Antichrist saith that the interpretation of the scripture hangs on the judgment of the fathers and old ancient writers, and of the authority and consent of the church of Rome, which is the true church and mother of all churches, and can by no means err; without the approbation of the which no interpretation of the scripture can be good and catholic.
3. Christ will all men to search the scriptures, and to lean unto them in all matters of controversy, as faithful witnesses of the Lord's truth.
Antichrist commandeth that, when any question arise about matters of religion, men should have recourse unto the canons and general councils, but specially unto the see of Rome, where all doubtful matters are to be decided. As for the scripture, it hath no more authority than it pleaseth the church, that is to say, the pope and his adherents, to give unto it.
4. Christ teacheth that all men's traditions ought to give place unto the word of God; and that whatsoever is decreed of men contrary to the word of God, although these men be of never so great authority and wisdom, is utterly to be neglected, rejected, and cast away.
Antichrist teacheth plainly that all such constitutions and ordinances of men as he decreed and set forth by the authority of councils and holy fathers (which [he claims]are always gathered together by the instinct and consent of the Holy Ghost), although they are not nor cannot be grounded on God's word, are, notwithstanding, good and profitable; and men are bound under pain of deadly sin to obtain and keep them: for the church cannot err.
5. Christ teacheth that there is but one only true, living, and everlasting God, which alone is to be honored, worshipped and called upon; by whose name alone we ought to swear.
Antichrist, after a certain sort, confesseth also one God with us, and that he is to be honored and called upon, but not alone. For he teacheth that the saints in heaven both may and ought to be honored and called upon, yea, and that we may also swear by their names.
6. Christ in his holy law, both by Moses, the prophets and apostles, forbiddeth to make, set forth, or keep any image to be worshipped. But above all things, he forbiddeth us to make any image of God.
Antichrist saith it is lawful not only to have images and to set them up in temples, chapels, oratories, etc., but also to worship them, to kneel before them, to kiss them, to pray before them, yea, and to set candles before them, to deck and trim them, to offer unto them, to cense them, to put off our caps unto them, etc. Antichrist also digs out of the ground the old rotten bones or relics of saints, translates them, encases them in gold, keeps them in precious shrines and costly enclosures, and sets them forth to the people to be kissed and worshipped. Moreover, he is not ashamed, contrary to the manifest word of God, to make the image of the blessed Trinity. He formeth and frameth God the Father like an old broken-backed man, with a white head, wrinkled forehead, hollow-eyed, slender-cheeked, sharp-nosed, toothless, widemouthed, hanging-down-lipped, crook-chinned, grey-bearded, small-necked, lean-handed, and ultimately altogether monstrous. God the Son antichrist sets forth as a lusty young younker, with his yellow locks; and God the Holy Ghost he maketh like a young lusty white flickering dove. But this blasphemous image causeth he to be set in churches and in all other places, not only to be considered, but also to be worshipped, unto the great dishonor of God, the slander of the Christian religion, the offence of all good men, and unto the glory of all God's enemies. What dares not antichrist do?
7. Christ teacheth that the true worshippers must worship God in spirit and truth; again: that they worship God in vain which honor him after the traditions of men.
Antichrist affirmeth that it is lawful to worship God any manner of way, so it cometh of a good intent, good mind, good zeal, good devotion, etc. For God casteth away the good intent of no man. Antichrist therefore teacheth us to worship God with gold, silver, precious stones, sumptuous vestures, candles, palms, ashes, bread, water, salt, etc.; with long pattering, curious singing, pleasant piping, loud ringing, etc.; with surplices, copes, vestments, caps, cowls, etc.; with massing, with pilgrimage-going, with pardons-buying, with beads-saying, etc. And all these things he taught to be more precious and acceptable in the sight of God than to help the poor or to do any work of mercy: for that is done but to man, the other unto God.
8. Christ, in his sweet sermon that he made in the mount, saith that he came to fulfill the law, that is to say, to accomplish whatsoever was prefigured of him in the ceremonies of the Old Testament; so that by his coming he hath put away and utterly abolished all ceremonies, even as the shadow is removed by the entrance of the light. For, as the apostle saith: The law, he means the ceremonial law, was nothing else than a shadow of good things to come. The good things are now come and given; therefore the shadow ceases: whereby we evidently learn that the Christians are now free from such cloudy laws and dark ceremonies.
Antichrist teacheth that, although the ceremonies of the old law be abolished by the coming of Christ, yet that hinders not the church, which is the spouse of Christ, to appoint what ceremonies she will, without any offence to her husband, Christ, who delights in her and in her doings….But because among the Christians there are many grossly ignorant, they must be brought little by little unto perfection through such ceremonies and outward observances; which ceremonies and ordinances of Christ's spouse the church are with no less reverences to be observed, than if they had been commanded by Christ her husband [in the first place].
9. Christ Jesus in his doctrine teacheth that he alone is our Saviour, our Redeemer, our Bishop, or Pastor, our Head, our Reconciliator, our Peacemaker, all our hope and comfort; insomuch that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
Antichrist in his doctrine teacheth, that salvation and remission of sins is to be obtained also at his hands, at his pardons, indulgences, years of jubilee, masses, cowls, pilgrimages, etc.; again, that he is head of the universal church of Christendom, Christ's vicar, Peter's successor, the highest bishop, the greatest priest, the most holy and most blessed father, to whom above all other the keys of the kingdom of heaven are committed; so that whatsoever he bindeth in earth is also bound in heaven, and whatsoever he looseth in earth is in like manner loosed in heaven; so that whosoever cleaveth unto him cannot perish, but have life everlasting.
10. Christ taught us that whenever we will desire anything of God the Father, we should ask it in his name. For no man cometh to the Father but by him. And in the writings of the apostles we read that Christ alone is our Mediator, Advocate, and Intercessor; by whom alone we have free and gracious access unto God the Father, and easily obtain of him all good things.
Antichrist sets forth unto us other mediators, advocates, and intercessors, even the souls and spirits of them that are departed, and commandeth us to call upon them, to pray unto them, to make intercession unto them, that they may call upon God for us, pray unto him, and make intercession unto him; that by this means our prayers may be the sooner heard, and our petitions the more easily granted. Thus antichrist goes about to make Christ Jack out of office.
11. Christ, hanging on the cross, and ready to give up his spirit into the hands of his heavenly Father, said, It is finished, signifying hereby, that by the one and alone sacrifice of his passion and death all things are wrought and perfectly done, whatsoever pertains unto the salvation of mankind; so that now there remains no more sacrifice or oblation for sin; as the apostle saith: With one only oblation hath Christ made perfect for ever them that are sanctified. Again: We are sanctified by the offering up of Christ's body done once for all.
Antichrist hath set up divers sacrifices for sins, but namely that vile and abominable sacrifice of the mass, which he calleth a propitiatory, expiatory, and satisfactory sacrifice for the sins of the quick and the dead, necessary ad salutem. This sacrifice he brags to be of like dignity and of equal price with that sacrifice which Christ the high and everlasting bishop offered on the altar of the cross, yea, to be the very same; again, that he and his chaplains, in that sacrifice of that idolatrous mass, do daily offer up the Son of God to the Father of heaven for the daily sins of the people. Antichrist, moreover, is not ashamed to say that Christ, by the sacrifice of his death done on the altar of the cross, did only put away original sin; but Antichrist and his shavelings, by the sacrifice of their mass, put away all other sins at all times, both actual, venial, mortal, etc.
12. Christ in his blessed testament teacheth that we are purged, cleansed, and made pure from all sin by his blood.
Antichrist, for the maintenance of his idle clergy, that they might live of the labor and sweat of other men's hands and brows, hath devised another purgatory after this life; wherein the souls of them that have not done due satisfaction for their sins in this world must be most miserably tormented, until either they, by suffering most grievous pains, have satisfied the justice of God, or else they be delivered by the sacrifice of the mass offered for them, or by some other charitable deeds of mercy. Is not this to tread the Son of God under foot? Is not this to count the blood of the testament as an unholy thing, and to do dishonor to the Spirit of grace?
13. Christ teacheth that his church, which is the fellowship of saints and company of faithful people, is built upon himself, which is the true rock, is governed by his Spirit, heareth his voice, and is ruled by the same.
Antichrist saith that the church is not built on Christ alone, but also on Peter and his successors; again, that it is not only governed by the word of God, but also by the decrees of the church of Rome.
14. Christ saith that they which are his sheep and belong unto his sheepfold, that is, unto his holy congregation, hear not the voice of strangers, but flee from them; giving ear only to the voice of their own shepherd.
Antichrist saith that they which are of the church may not only hear the voice of Christ, but also the words of the bishop of Rome, which is Christ's vicar, and acknowledge him to be the universal bishop; whose voice they are to hear and whose decrees bound to obey, under pain of everlasting damnation.
15. Christ ordained in his church, in order to set forth the gospel of our salvation, and to govern his flock, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, etc.
Antichrist appointeth in his church monks, friars, canons, nuns, anchors, anchoresses, recluses, priests, sacrificers, soul-carriers, purgatory-rakers, pardoners, proctors, somners, apparitors, commissaries, officials, etc.
16. Christ in his holy law freely permits all spiritual ministers, bishops, deacons, etc. to marry.
Antichrist in his devilish decrees forbiddeth and condemneth the marriage of spiritual ministers.
17. Christ, by his holy apostle, calleth marriage honorable, and the bed undefiled, yea, and that holds for all men, none excepted.
Antichrist is not ashamed to call the marriage of the spiritual ministers an unclean, filthy, and fleshly kind of living.
18. Christ gave equal power to all the ministers of his church.
Antichrist denieth that and saith the bishop hath more authority than the priest, and the archbishop more than the bishop, and the pope more than all.
19. Christ, in his blessed New Testament, appointed deacons to be ministers unto the poor and to see that they lack no good thing; and the bishops, or spiritual overseers, he ordained to preach the word, to instruct the people, to minister the sacraments, etc.
Antichrist ordaineth deacons to say matins of the day, to read the gospel at mass, to stand on the priest's right hand, to help him in all things, to have a shaven crown, to live unmarried, etc. He hath also appointed archdeacons to visit the churches certain times in the year, to see if the church and church-yard be in good state; if the vestments, altar-cloths, copes, banner-cloths, cross-cloths, curtains, towels, boxes, pyxes, chrismatories, fonts, holy-water-bucket, holy-bread-basket, bells, candlesticks, censers, crosses, cruets, and such-like ornaments of the church, be well and sufficiently repaired; again, if the hosts be well kept of the curate, that they be not moldy, musty, evil-savored, cankered, worm-eaten, etc. As for provision-making for the poor and needy people, there is no mention. That which ought to be collected by the archdeacons among the merciful Christians for the aid and relief of the poor members of Christ in their visitation is now unfruitfully devoured, spent, and consumed by the archdeacons themselves and by their officers; so that the office of an archdeacon at this time, in the kingdom of the pope, is now become altogether unprofitable and a burdensome expense to the church of God.
20. Christ appointed his apostles to be the ministers and servants of his holy church.
Antichrist ordaineth his priests and prelates to be lords and masters over God's people; yea, he maketh them to be of greater authority and power than emperors, kings, princes, etc.; of higher dignity than all the angels in heaven, or than the blessed virgin Mary. Moreover, he doth so greatly advance the dignity of his smeared shavelings that he calleth them the maker of their Maker. And to set forth their royal and kingly priesthood he maketh them ever to wear a shaven crown.
21. Christ instituted in his holy testament two mysteries or sacraments, that is to say, baptism and the Lord's supper, which he added to his word as signs and seals of his goodwill unto us; that they might be the same to the eye that the word is to the ear, and, so joined together through the operation of the Holy Ghost, bring salvation to the faithful believers.
Antichrist, not content with so small a number, hath added five more, so that now they be seven in number, which are more openly known than they need here to be repeated.
22. Christ, as concerning the outward ministry, ordained the sacrament of baptism to consist of the word and of the water.
Antichrist, not content with so slender trappings, hath added many things, as the exorcisms or conjurations of the devil out of the child, salt, spittle, signing of the cross, hallowing of the font, candle-burning, with divers other conceits.
23. Christ, at the institution of the sacrament of his body and blood, used only the word, bread and wine.
Antichrist mingles wine and water together in his ministration and miserably handles the words of the institution.
24. Christ appointed his holy supper to be a sacrament, that is to say, an holy sign of his body and blood.
Antichrist saith plainly that the Lord's supper is not only a sacrament and holy sign of Christ's body and blood, but it is also the thing itself, that is, Christ's natural body and blood; with as good reason as though a man should say, that the ivy-bush which hangs before the tavern is not only a sign that there is wine to sell, but also that it is the wine itself. Notwithstanding, whosoever denieth this doctrine must needs be counted an heretic and judged to be burnt at a stake.
25. Christ, making the bread and wine sacraments and holy signs of his body and blood', altered not the substances of that holy bread and holy wine, but they remained in their old nature, substance, and property as before.
Antichrist teacheth in his imbecilic and devilish decree, that after the words of consecration, This is my body, This is my blood, there remains no substance of bread and wine, but the substance of bread is turned miraculously, by the virtue of consecrating words, into the substance of Christ's natural body, and the substance of wine into the substance of Christ's natural blood; the accidents of bread and wine only remaining, without their proper substances. 0 prodigious and monstrous doctrine!
26. Christ ordained his holy supper to be a remembrance of the sacrifice which be offered on the altar of the cross for the redemption of the world, that, when we behold the sacramental bread and wine broken and shed, we should call to remembrance that Christ's body was broken and his blood shed for the remission of our sins; as he himself saith: Do this in remembrance of me. Likewise the apostle: So often as ye shall eat of this bread, or drink of this cup, ye shall remember the Lord's death till he come.
Antichrist teacheth that it is not only a remembrance of the sacrifice, but also the sacrifice itself, of the same divinity, might, and power.
27. Christ ordained that all that be partakers of his holy supper should not only eat of the mystery of his body, but also drink of the mystery of his blood.
Antichrist taketh away the cup of the mystery of Christ's blood from the communion of the laity, yea, and of the spirituality also (except they mass it themselves, and make God's body), contrary to the commandment of Christ, and contrary to the practice of the primitive church.
28. Christ, because he would take away his natural body from the earth and place it in the glorious kingdom of his heavenly Father until the day of judgment, ordained the sacrament of thanksgiving to be a memorial of the same.
Antichrist teacheth plainly that wheresoever the consecrate host is, though it be in infinite places, there is also the body of Christ, even the very same body of Christ that was born of Mary the virgin, and banged on the altar of the cross. He saith moreover, that the sacred host, being whole, is but the body of Christ; and the same host being broken in an hundred pieces, every parcel thereof, although never so little, is but the body of Christ, even as he hanged on the cross. 0 doctrine more than twice monstrous!
29. Christ, in his holy word, teacheth that the sacramental bread and wine we should eat and drink in the remembrance of his body-breaking and blood-shedding.
Antichrist commandeth that the sacrament should be heaved and lifted up above the priest’s head, that it may be worshipped of the people, hung up in the pyx, and carried about in solemn procession in pomp and vain pastimes.
30. Christ teacheth that the way to heaven is to repent us of our former life, and to believe the gospel.
Antichrist saith that the readiest way unto salvation is to buy his pardons, to put on a grey-Friar's cowl, to purchase certain masses of scala coeli, to trust in the prayers and intercessions of saints, to buy the intercessory prayers of the church, to provide [financially] so as to be partaker of the monks' prayers, vigils, fastings, vows, devotions, etc.
31. Christ declareth in his heavenly doctrine that there is no satisfaction to God the Father for our sins but only his healthful and most precious death.
Antichrist saith that works of penance do satisfy divine justice and appease his wrath kindled against us for sin.
32. Christ declareth in his doctrine, that when we have offended our heavenly Father and gone astray from the paths of his holy commandments, we should convert and turn unto him, and make our humble confession unto him, and crave forgiveness of our sins at his hand for his Son Christ Jesus' sake.
Antichrist sendeth us unto his priests, commanding us to publish and confess our sins unto him, and take penance and absolution at his hand with this faith, that so doing we are forgiven and delivered from all sin.
33. Christ saith, that whosoever believeth on him, although he were dead, yet
shall he live, ascribing our justification and righteous-making to faith alone.
Antichrist teacheth that not by faith alone, but by faith, hope, charity and works together are we justified; when, notwithstanding, the apostle saith, that we are justified by faith without the works of the law. And the greatest part of the ancient writers ascribe justification to faith alone without works.
34. Christ by the apostle saith that faith worketh by love, signifying hereby that faith is the mother of charity, and that charity issues and flows out of faith, as the small rivers out of the great and main fountains.
Antichrist saith that faith is wrought by charity, and also that charity is the parent or mother of faith; so that in the matter of justification charity goes before faith. Is not this that Antichrist that should turn the roots of trees upward?
35. Christ saith: Either make the tree good, and his fruit good also, or else make the tree naught, and his fruit naught also; meaning that the tree should be first good, and then bring forth good fruit. The fruit maketh not the tree good, but the tree doth make the fruit good; although we cannot know that the tree is good but by his fruits. For we can judge nothing but by his outward operation; yet God seeth the quickness that is in the root, which, in the time that God hath appointed him, shall bring forth his fruit; and approveth the tree to be good, a1though it seems dead to us. The tree is faith, which is the mother of all good works, and ever worketh by charity, whenever occasion is offered. And for this cause is a faithful man in the Psalms compared to a tree planted by the river’s side, which yieldeth and bringeth forth her fruit in her time.
36. Christ commandeth that the poor should be bid to dinner, that we should give to the needy, and so lay up treasure for ourselves in heaven.
Antichrist summons and cites them, be they never so poor, not regarding their impediments and adversity, but he curseth them if they come not at the time appointed; and if they come, they go away sorrier and sicker both in soul and purse than they came.
37. Christ teacheth that we should not swear at all, but that we should use in our communication to affirm, ‘yea’; and to deny, ‘nay.’ For whatsoever is more cometh of evil.
Antichrist saith, “If any man will receive any office under us, he shall be sworn before that he will be true, faithful and just unto us. If any man also have anything to do in his courts, he must first of all swear by God and by the holy gospel that this or that is true;” again, that “he shall truly and faithfully answer to all such things as shall be required of him.”
38. Christ commanded his disciples to know his law, and bade the Jews search the scriptures. And Moses exhorted the Israelites to teach the law of God to their young children, that they should have it bound as a sign in their hands, that it might be ever before their eyes; he caused them also to write it on the posts and doors of their houses.
Antichrist saith, “It is not meet for the common people to know the mysteries of God's word, but to believe as mother holy church teacheth them without any further inquiring; yea, he maketh it heresy and treason against kings and princes to know Christ or his laws. He hath dug cisterns of his own traditions and hath stopped up the pure fountains of Christ's doctrine. He cannot abide that the laity should read the scripture, lest they should perceive his trickery; neither can he suffer that the scriptures should be painted either in public temples or in private houses. The blinder the people be, the warmer is his kitchen.
39. Christ taught his disciples on this wise: If thy brother trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between him and thee alone. If he hear thee, thou hast won thy brother. But if he hear thee not, then take yet with thee one or two, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every matter may be established. If he hear not them, tell it unto the congregation. If he hear not the congregation, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and as a publican.
Antichrist uses another kind of doctrine. For, if any offend and displease him, he will straightway cast them into prison (such is his burning charity), there to remain in hard and cold irons, to make them to revoke the truth, contrary to the truth, and contrary also to their own conscience, and so at the last to accede to his will. But if any be strong through the Spirit of God (without whom no man is able to stand in such a case), and will not forsake the truth, then, after long and many most grievous tortures secretly ministered to those constant and faithful martyrs of Christ, at the last he bringeth forth, accuseth, judgeth, condemneth, and in fine, delivereth to the secular officers, as they would to butchers and hangmen, to be burnt at a stake unto ashes. As for that charitable reconciliation that our Saviour Christ gave in commandment unto as many as take upon them to be his ministers, he utterly refuses, and will none of it.
40. Christ saith: If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell all that thou hast, and give it unto the poor; and thou shalt have treasure in heaven.
Antichrist saith, “If thou wilt be perfect, give me thy money, and I will give thee a pardon, by the virtue whereof thou shalt be absolved a poena et culpa, and make thee as clean as that day thou were born; yea, I will for thy money give thee the keys of heaven-gates, so that thou shalt enter in without any hindrances.”
41. Christ saith: Ye are my friends, if ye do those things that I command you.
Antichrist saith, “Ye shall do as I command you. For I have power and authority to make laws; and after them shall ye live.”
42. Christ saith: When ye have done all things that I have commanded you, yet say that ye are unprofitable servants.
Antichrist saith, “Do those things that I command, and you can be assured that ye are righteous in the sight of God and have deserved heaven; yea, if ye do all that I command you, ye shall not only have good works enough wherewith to save yourselves, but also to save others. And these works are called supererogatory works. As for myself, though I do never so wickedly, so that through my wicked and lewd behavior I bring many thousands with me into damnation, yet may no man rebuke me, but call me the most holiest father.”
43. Christ saith: Whosoever breaketh one of the least of my commandments, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven.
Antichrist roareth out and saith, “What have I to do with Christ's law? I am subject to no laws; but all laws are obedient to me and to my power. By this means antichrist seldom doth right, but is always against the right, yea, and against his own law also, as often as men bring him money. For that is what he loveth above all things.
44. Christ saith: Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the sons of God.
Antichrist saith, “Blessed are they that fight….for the defense of St Peter's patrimony; for they shall be called the children of our mother holy church.
45. Christ saith: Woe be to you that laugh now; for ye shall weep and lament.
Antichrist saith, “Blessed are they that make merry and take no thought; for they are sure to have a good and joyful portion in this world.”
46. Christ saith: My kingdom is not of this world.
Antichrist saith, “My kingdom is of this world. The emperor with his empire, the king with his kingdom, the duke with his duchery, and all other with all that ever they have are mine, and at my commandment: yea, my kingdom is not only in this world, but also in heaven and in purgatory, yea, and in hell also: for even out of hell do I deliver damned souls by the virtue of my masses, and the pains of many others there do I also mitigate by things done at my decree. Thus am I lord of heaven, of hell, of earth, of purgatory.
47. Christ saith that no man can come to him, that is to say, believe in him, except his heavenly Father by his Holy Spirit draw him.
Antichrist saith, “If any will not believe, fire, fagot, sword, and halter shall make him to believe.
48. Christ by his holy apostle teacheth that a bishop, who ought to be the servant of the Lord Christ, must be quiet and gentle, no fighter nor tyrant, but such one as is ready to inform such as do err, and with wholesome doctrine to reduce them unto the way of truth.
Antichrist commandeth that such as are bishops should be stout and sturdy, and courageous in the defense of his doctrine. If any be stubborn and will not relent, his will is not that they should reform him by the word of God, whereof the greatest part of them hath no knowledge at all, but handle them according to the decree of his law, which is to burn them. It may not be considered whether the matter be right or not.
49. Christ commanded in his doctrine that the tares which grow among the wheat should not be plucked up, but suffered to grow until the harvest come, when the wheat shall be gathered of the reapers into the barn, and the tares shall be burnt with unquenchable fire.
Antichrist’s behavior could not be more contrary. For the good wheat he plucketh up and burneth, and the tares he suffereth still to grow. By the good wheat I understand the true and faithful preachers of God's word, and so many as unfeignedly embrace and profess the sincere and pure religion of Christ. These, as his most extreme enemies, antichrist persecuteth, apprehendeth, accuseth, judgeth, condemneth, and giveth over to the secular power, with fire to be consumed unto ashes. By the tares I mean tyrants, persecutors of God's truth, commonly called inquisitors, canonists, Scotists, hypocrites, monks, friars, canons, nuns, anchors, anchoresses, votaries, vowesses, pardoners, proctors, promoters, purgatory-rakers, massmongers, pilgrimage-gadders, and all other superstitious and ungodly people. These, as his most dear and tender friends, he kisses and culls, he promotes and advances unto high dignities, promotions, bishoprics, cardinalships, archdeaconries, prebends, parsonages, etc., and diligently watches, as a most diligent watcher and pastor over his flock, that no cross, no adversity, no misfortune, no trouble chance unto them, but all game and glee, all sport and comfort, all joy and solace, etc.
50. Christ taught not his own, but his Father's doctrine; and what he received of his heavenly Father, that he taught to the people.
Antichrist teaches nothing by the word of God, except it be to camouflage his wicked tyranny. He teacheth his own devilish decrees and trifling traditions and enforces them with the people even by means of violence.
51. Christ would have his doctrine no further believed than it did consent and agree with Moses, the Psalms and the prophets.
Antichrist will have his traditions and constitutions believed and obeyed, though Moses and the prophets, Christ and his apostles, should say nay. For they be of no further authority than it shall please him to limit and appoint.
52. Christ saith: Learn of me; for I am humble and meek.
Antichrist saith, “Ye that will belong unto me must be stout and lusty. For I,
your lord, am lusty and stout in all quarters round about; neither will I bow or stoop either to king or Caesar. Yea, whom it pleaseth me I will exalt and advance, and at my pleasure will I him again depose. All, without exception, yea, the very angels also in heaven, shall obey me, and accomplish my commandment.”
53. Christ, entreating of fasting, appointeth no certain days or times, but leaveth it free to all that profess his holy law, that they may fast when occasion is offered, and when the Spirit of God moves them; yea, as they be taught in the word of God, that is to say, to mortify their carnal affects, to subdue the body to the spirit, and to bypass our own bellies that we may have more by which to liberally give unto the poor, according to this commandment of God by the prophet: Break thy bread to the hungry, and lead the needy wayfaring man into thy house: when thou see a naked man, cover him, and despise not thy flesh.
Antichrist prescribes certain days to be fasted, yea, and that under pain of ever
lasting damnation, as the time of Advent, Lent, ember days, saints' days, etc. All these days must be fasted of all manner of people that be twelve years and older.
54. Christ saith: My house is the house of prayer.
Antichrist saith, “My house is the house of money. He that bringeth not money cometh not in there; neither is there any place for him.”
55. Christ saith: The kingdom of God cometh not with waiting for, that is to say, with outward observances and external ordinances at the appointment of men: for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Antichrist saith, “Wear this cap or that cowl, this grey habit or that white habit. Profess this rule or that rule. Fast this day or that day. Buy this pardon or that pardon, etc., and thou shalt be saved.
56. Christ saith: If any man say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets and shall shew great wonders and miracles, insomuch that, if it were possible, the very elect should be deceived. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not ye forth; behold, he is in the secret places, believe it not.
Antichrist saith, “Lo, here is Christ at this altar and at that altar, in this priest's hand and that priest's hand, in this pyx and that pyx, in this box and that box. Come, and see thy maker. Worship him, meekly kneeling upon thy knees. Hold up thy hands unto him….If thou wilt not believe that this is thy maker, thou shalt bum for it without redemption.”
57. Christ saith: The gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Antichrist saith, “I and my accomplices, the cardinals, bishops, priests, monks, friars, lawyers, etc., will to the uttermost of our power suppress the preaching of the gospel and those who either preach it or profess it, that the end of this world may be indefinitely delayed. And so shall we still continue in pleasure, joy and mirth: for that is our portion.”
58. Christ saith: Whosoever shall give unto one of these little ones to drink a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily, I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.
Antichrist saith: “What have I to do with the poor? Every man for himself, and the devil for us all. Whosoever giveth anything to this fraternity or that fraternity, to this guild or that guild, to this cloister or that cloister, to this chantry or that chantry, to this pardon or that pardon, to this altar and that altar, to this morrow-priest and that morrow-priest, etc., he shall not lose his reward. And the more he giveth, the greater shall be his reward.”
59. Christ saith: Beware of men; for they shall deliver you up to the councils and shall scourge you in their synagogues. And ye shall be brought to the head rulers and kings for my sake, etc.
Antichrist saith, Ye my shavelings, with the rest of mine adherents, fear no man living; for they shall not once touch you. Is it not written, Touch not mine anointed and do my prophets no harm? Are ye not my greased, my smeared, and mine holy anointed. Are not ye my prophets and preachers? Do not ye execute my will and pleasure? Who then may be bold to touch you? I have made a decree to curse all them that lay violent hands either on priest or clerk, and that they shall not be assoiled, but only at my hand, and where I appoint. Therefore, fear ye not, neither be ye dismayed. And as for any bringing of you before the head rulers, take no thought. I have enfranchised you and made you free from all their power and authority; so they have nothing to do with you in any matter. I have made you a peculiar kingdom by yourselves. You may summon all men before you, and summon them to appear before you in your spiritual courts to lay to their charge whatsoever shall please you; but with you they shall have nothing to do. No: they shall reverence you, they shall crouch and kneel unto you. They shall call you ‘Master, Lord and Your Grace.’ Yea, the basest among you all they shall salute with Domine, that is to say, ‘Lord,’ or ‘Sir.’
60. Christ saith: Blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
Antichrist saith, “Blessed are they that hear my decrees and observe them.”
61. Christ saith: Beware of the scribes, which will go in long clothing, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts, which devour widows' houses, by feigning long prayers; the same shall receive the greater damnation.
Antichrist saith, “Though my choploches, chaplains, and chapmen, be in this behalf like unto the saucy scribes, fine Pharisees, lusty lawyers, pattering priests, bragging bishops, lying Levites, satanical Sadducees, and such other which lived among the Jews in the days of Christ; so that they also go in long gowns, love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts, and devour widows' houses, under the pretence of long prayer, etc.; yet see that ye neither contemn nor condemn them, but make much of them, reverence them, worship them, and honor them; for they are in dignity more excellent than angels, in honor far passing kings, princes, emperors, or any other mortal creature, be they never so noble: for they are the makers of him that made them and the whole world.
62. Christ in his sermons cried wreck, woe, and damnation upon those scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites which tithed mint and anise and cumin, and left the weighty matters of the law, judgment, mercy and faith.
Antichrist saith, “What have I to do with judgment, mercy, and faith? Bring in your tithes. Pay your offerings. Give your dirge-groats, your mass-pence, and your confessional-pence, with all your other good and godly devotions. Buy my pardons. Give ten shillings for a trental, forty pence to the high altar, twelve pence to the sepulcher-light, six pence to the lamps. Though it be but a cheese or a piece of bacon Always give something to the holy order of sweet St Francis, or to any other of my friars, monks, canons, etc. Holy church refuses nothing, but gladly taketh whatsoever cometh.”
63. Christ, by the parable of the ten virgins, whereof five were wise, and five foolish, declareth two things manifestly. One is that no man hath good deeds sufficient for himself. The second is that after this life no good deeds done can profit unto salvation.
Antichrist teacheth the contrary, and saith, “Some men in this world grow up unto such perfection in doing good works, that they have not only plenty and enough for their own salvation, but they have also sufficient for other;” whereas we be taught in the word of God, that no man living can justify himself in the sight of God. He teacheth also, that the good deeds, done of other for them that are departed, profit them greatly; either unto the diminishing of their pain, if they be in hell; or unto the advancement of their glory, if they be in heaven; or unto the dispatching of their torments, if they be in purgatory.
64. Christ in his doctrine teacheth, that whosoever believeth in him may be sure to have everlasting life; as it is written: He that believeth on the Son of God hath everlasting life. But he that believeth not on the Son of God shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth upon him. Again: Everyone that putteth his trust in him, that is to say, Christ, shall not be confounded. And our Saviour Hum Christ himself saith: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth on me, though he were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth and believeth in me, he shall never die. St Paul, being certain of his salvation through faith in Christ, saith: I am now ready to be offered; and the time of my departing is at hand. I have fought a good fight. I have fulfilled my course. I have kept the faith. From henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, that is a righteous Judge, shall give me at that day; not to me only, but unto all them also that love his coming. Again: I know, and am sure, that he in whom I have put my trust is able to keep that which I have committed to his keeping against that day.
Antichrist saith, “No man in this world can be certain and sure of his salvation, and therefore he ought to doubt, and to stand in fear, whether he shall be saved or not, according to that which is written: “No man knoweth whether he be worthy love or hate; but all things are kept uncertain for the time to come." Again : "I know nothing by myself; yet am I not thereby justified."
65. Christ, in the parable of the men that were hired to work in the vineyard, some at one time of the day, some at another, some betimes, some late, and yet, notwithstanding, all received like reward at night, seemeth evidently to teach that all the saints of God have one and the same full glory in heaven, and that one hath not a greater reward than another; but the same joy, the same glory, and the same honor is given, without any difference, to all the sons of God alike; forasmuch as it cometh not of works, but of grace: again, that there is no respect of persons with God. By grace are ye saved, saith St. Paul, through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God, and cometh not of works, lest any man should boast himself. Again: Everlasting life is the gift of God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Antichrist teacheth that, as there be many mansions in the kingdom of heaven, are there many diversities and differences of glories and joys in the same for the inhabitants thereof. As there is "one manner glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars (for one star differs from another in glory”), so is the state of the saints in heaven. One hath an higher place than another, one more glory than another, every man according to his degree, every man according to his works, merits, and deserts. Hereof it should then follow that there is respect of persons with God, and that the heavenly glory is ours, not of mercy, but of merit, not through Christ, but through our own works.
66. Christ saith: Whosoever putteth away his wife (except it be for fornication), and marries another, breaketh wedlock, giving here liberty to the guiltless and innocent man, having an harlot to his wife, and such one as hath broken her wedding vow and promise, and hath joined herself to another man, (by this means cutting off herself from the body of her husband, and making herself one flesh with an whoremonger,) not only to be divorced from that harlot, sometime his wife, but also to marry again, and take another woman to his wife in the fear of God. "It is a common saying," saith Jerome, "If a man put away his wife, and she, going away from him, marries another man, shall he resort any more unto her after that? Shall not that woman be defiled and unclean?"
Antichrist in his law saith, “If a man have an whore to his wife, it shall be lawful for him to be divorced from her, both from bed and board; but he may by no means marry again, live as he may.
67. Christ also by his holy apostle giveth liberty to the faithful man or woman to marry again, who, being coupled in marriage to such an idolater or infidel as will by no means forsake his idolatry or infidelity, but rather goes about not only to defend it, but also to bring his faithful yoke-fellow unto it, so that the faithful cannot live with the unfaithful with a good conscience and according to the word of God. These be the words: If the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not in subjection to such. But God hath called us in peace.
Antichrist will by no means suffer any divorce with marriage following, although the guiltless person burn never so greatly, and be never so much encumbered both in body and conscience. “Take the whore again if ye will, another wife get ye none.”
68. Christ saith: Honor thy father and thy mother, in the which commandment is required of children that they give not themselves to marriage without the consent of their godly parents. Therefore read we, that among the people of God none were coupled in matrimony but with the consent of the parent. What the civil law determines also in this matter, the learned know.
Antichrist, in the bestowing of children in marriage, requireth not the consent and goodwill of the parents but, if they themselves marry without the knowledge or consent of their parents or tutors, he allows it to be well done, and the marriage to be lawful. By this means is a great part of that honor taken away from fathers and mothers that is due unto them by their children.
69. Christ, by being present at a marriage with his mother and disciples, plainly teacheth that matrimony ought to be solemnly and openly proclaimed and celebrated, and that it ought not to be done in corners.
Antichrist, for money, grants dispensations to all men for to marry where they will, when they will, and with whom they will. All things are decent and lawful if money come. All things obey money.
70. Christ in his doctrine did never forbid marriage to be contracted between any persons, except those degrees only which his heavenly Father had before forbidden by his servant Moses.
Antichrist in his law prohibits many and divers degrees to marry together whom God hath set at liberty. He hath decreed also that Christian ‘gossips,’ that is to say, those men and women that have been godfathers and godmothers together of one child at baptism, may not marry together, nor yet their children. If they do, he proclaims their marriage to be incestuous and that they must divorce. This is to be understood [and obeyed], except they purchase a license from him for money: for money maketh all things lawful in the court; neither are his laws any other thing than nets for money.
71. Christ freely permits marriage to all degrees, none excepted, if they have not the gift of continence: neither doth he appoint any time when it shall not be lawful to solemnize matrimony, but giveth liberty to all men at all times freely to marry.
Antichrist, as we have before heard, denieth marriage to all his clattering clergy, rather suffering them to burn and to run a whoring, than he will suffer them to have wives of their own, that this prophecy of St Paul may be fulfilled: The Spirit speaketh evidently; saith he, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, and shall give heed unto the spirits of error, and devilish doctrines of them which speak falsely through hypocrisy, and have their consciences marked with an hot iron, forbidding to marry, etc. And, as he forbiddeth certain degrees of men to marry, so doth he forbid at certain times of the year to celebrate matrimony; insomuch that whosoever presumes in those forbidden times to marry is not only accursed, but his marriage is also not lawful. Notwithstanding, if any man will bring money and purchase a license to marry, he shall easily obtain it, though it were on Good Friday; so dear and tenderly beloved is that great god mammon in antichrist's courts. But if it be lawful at these times to marry for money, is it not lawful to marry without money? Doth money make a thing either lawful or unlawful? God destroy thy kingdom, 0 Antichrist! Thy money perish with thee, for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
72. Christ in his holy gospel commandeth us to pray, but he prescribes no certain time of prayer,
Antichrist appoints certain times to pray, which times whosoever doth not observe, he is counted grievously to offend.
73. Christ, by his blessed apostle St. Paul, giveth us liberty to pray in every place, lifting up pure hands without wrath or doubting. And he himself in the gospel said to the woman of Samaria: Woman, believe me,...the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in the truth. For such the Father requireth to worship him. God is a spirit; and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in the truth.
Antichrist teacheth that, though we may pray to God in all places, yet ought we most chiefly to pray in such places as his bishops and prelates have consecrated and hallowed for money, as oratories worthy for their virtue and holiness, wherein our prayers may the sooner be heard and the better accepted. And yet in these places appointed of him for prayer one is counted more holy than another, and more meritorious to pray in; as the church is holier than the chapel, and the chancel holier than them both; and yet the cathedral church, otherwise called the mother-church, more holy than all three. But to pray at the shrines of his canonized saints, or in places of pilgrimage, where the devil worketh ‘stiracles.’ I would say miracles, but namely at Rome, at Compostella, at Jerusalem, etc., these surpass all. Prayers made in those places with this confidence, that they be the sooner heard and the better accepted by the reason of the places, fly to heaven, as it were a plucked hen.
74. Christ appointed a certain form of prayer, directing our prayers unto our heavenly Father; wherein also be declareth what things we should specially ask of God the Father.
Antichrist appoints divers and many forms of praying, not to God, but to this male saint and to that female saint; yea, and that for many and sundry causes, to every saint for a contrary thing. And thus are men taught to worship the creature instead of the Creator, robbing God of his glory, and committing most wicked and damnable idolatry.
75. Christ saith: When thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are; for they stand praying in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.
Antichrist saith, “I will that my chaplains and my choir-men shall pray, sing, and say in none other places than in the synagogues, that is to say, in churches and chapels, and such other oratories, yea, and specially when the people are most of all gathered together, although they understand not one word that is either sung or said, or played on the organs. And because they may be seen of men, and have the greater assembly of people at their prayers, he commandeth that now one bell shall be rung, now two, now three, now all the bells in the steeple, by the which diversity of ringing men may the better know not only when antichrist's chaplains and their accomplices may be seen to pray, but also when it is single feast, or double feast, or principal feast.
76. Christ saith: When ye pray, babble not much, as the heathen do. For they think it will come to pass that they shall be heard for their much babbling. Be ye not therefore like unto them.
Antichrist doth so laden and burden his captives with innumerable multitudes of prayers that they have almost no time to breathe. They have matins of the day, and matins of our lady, with prime and hours. They have long nocturnes; they have long litanies, long seven psalms, long fifteen psalms, with many and divers orations. They have long masses and long commemorations. They have long dirges and long commendations. They have evensong of the day, with evensong of our lady, and compline to them both. And all these things must be said or sung under pain of deadly sin. But how they be mumbled and jumbled up, all the world may see: verily, without all godly affection of the mind, the heart goes one way, and the voice another way, so that they agree together as harp and harrow, and come one to another as just as ‘Jermyn's lips.’ Of these beadmen speaketh our Saviour Christ on this manner: This people draweth nigh, and honoreth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. Verily they worship me in vain, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
77. Christ would have such love among us that be his disciples, that we should gladly, willingly, and freely, without money, pray one for another.
Antichrist willeth his chaplains to pray for none except they have money, according to the common proverb: “No penny, no Paternoster.” If money come, they will be ready at all times to sing and pray: if there be no money, then here is the door, and there is the way: farewell, gentle Geoffrey; and, as the porters cry in Sturbridge fair, A new master, a new, and hang up the old; they will no longer sing or say than ye have money for to pay. Bring money, and ye shall have mass of Scala coeli, mass of Requiem, mass of Recordare, mass of Si iniquitates, with an hundred kind of masses besides, for whatsoever purpose ye will. For our massmongers have masses in store for all kind of things, good or bad. Only bring money, and ye shall want nothing; so desirous are antichrist's men of money. 0 mammonists!
78. Christ by his apostles commandeth that every congregation should have his pastor or preacher to feed the Christian flock with the most wholesome food of God's word; so that every spiritual minister should attend upon his own parish, and not be distracted with the care of divers congregations.
Antichrist cannot abide by this, that one man should have but one benefice and one living; therefore he distributes to his chaplains, for money, that they may have as many benefices as they can afford, never taking thought for the discharge of his office in each parish. He grants them dualities, trialities, pluralities, and tot-quots, that they may snatch as many as they can catch. Though God would have one pastor to have but one flock, and one beneficed man to enjoy but one benefice; yet Antichrist, contrary to this most righteous will of God, grants to one man for money full dispensation to have multitudes of benefices, both against righteousness and conscience, and against the ancient practice and usage of Christ's church. It is more tolerable and praiseworthy that two or three pastors should have the oversight of one congregation, being large and great in multitude of people (as we read that in the city of Philippos there were divers bishops and divers deacons that did attend upon the flock of Christ), than one man to have the charge of many parishes. How can one man be in divers places? Can one man do that which is denied to angels? I mean, to be in many and divers places at once. Will they commit the charge of them to another? And hire another to satisfy their office? But our Saviour Christ saith: A good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. An hired servant, and he that is not the shepherd, neither are the sheep his own, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and flieth; and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep. If Antichrist's chaplains be not able to serve so many parishes (as they are indeed not able), thereby placing another in their stead, let them resign and give over to their curates and ministers those benefices where they serve and where the benefice-holders themselves serve not, that they may be the more able to do their duty. And would God such order might be given, that one benefice might be made of such valor that it might abundantly suffice one man and such as necessarily appertain unto him, that these pluralities of benefices may be taken away for good, which without doubt have been, and is now, the occasion of the destruction of many men's souls!
79. Christ by his blessed apostle commandeth that such should be chosen to be bishops and pastors of God's flock as be apt to teach, that is to say, to exhort by wholesome doctrine, and to confute them that say against it.
Antichrist does not oppose nor demote any from taking spiritual charge of souls, if he can but read his portass and his missal, and look good in his ordination. As for preaching and teaching, except it be four times in the year to read to the people a general curse, or to tell them some narrations out of the Festival, or saints' lies (‘lives,’ I should say) out of Legenda aurea, he careth not for it, yea, he abhors it. Moreover, Antichrist is grown up unto such favor and madness that he is not ashamed, for money, to give dispensation for boys, licensing them to have spiritual charge of souls, and to enjoy spiritual promotions, which ought to be the livings of the true and faithful pastors, and of such as labor and travail in the Lord's harvest; whereas the boys are not able to have cure of their own souls, being more meet to be taught than to teach. 0 thou antichrist, which burnest with an unquenchable thirst of worldly goods, what a whorish forehead hast thou put on, that thou dare commit the spiritual charge of souls, and the livings appointed for the same, to children, to boys, to such as be like mules and horses that have no understanding! Is it fitting, meet, and convenient, that those souls, which were so dearly bought with the precious blood of God's own Son, should be committed to the cure, charge, and oversight of boys and children? Is not this to offer the flock of Christ as a spoil to the wolf? Is not this to throw men's souls headlong down into the deep dungeon of hell-fire for lack of knowledge? Is not this utterly to deface the ministry, and cruelly to spoil the worthy pastors of their livings, and the Christian people of doctrine and true administration of the sacraments? Woe worth thee, 0 Antichrist, with thy god, that wicked mammon!
80. Christ by his holy apostle chargeth all pastors to feed their flock diligently, and to be resident upon their benefices, and not, like an hireling or a thief, to forsake the flock, having no care thereof.
Antichrist, contrary to this charge and commandment of Christ, granteth for money non-residences to as many as can pay, not caring for the flock, so he may have the money; nor yet regarding the will of God, so that his pouch may be filled with gold and silver. Let the sheep of Christ run astray where they will, caught on every briar, fall into every ditch, be devoured of every wolf, yea, sink down into hell, he compels them not [to care for the sheep]. For money he licenses the shepherd to go whither he will, to be where he list, and to do what he most delighteth. The pastor, having a good opinion of his dispensation and non-residence, is led with no care toward his flock, but doth what he will, and that gorgeously and deliciously, although absent, he lives off of the wool and milk of the flock, like a thief, which, as our Saviour Christ saith, cometh not but for to steal, to kil1, and to destroy. Against these non-residents God crieth out by the prophet and saith: 0 pastor and idol, that forsaketh his flock. By another prophet God crieth out also against those shepherds that feed themselves and not the flock, saying: Woe be unto those shepherds that feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye have eaten up the fat: ye have clothed yourselves with their wool: the best-fed have ye slain: but the flock have ye not nourished; the weak have ye not held up; the sick have ye not healed; the broken have ye not bound together; the outcasts have ye not brought again; the lost have ye not sought, but churlishly and cruelly have ye ruled them. Thus are they scattered here and there without a shepherd: yea, all the beasts of the field devour them; and they go astray.”
81. Christ saith: The workman is worthy of his meat. And the apostle saith: The Lord hath ordained that they that preach the gospel should live by the gospel. Again he saith: The elders that rule well are worthy of double honor, most especially they that labor in the word and teaching. For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.
Antichrist suffereth monsters and unprofitable clods of the earth to live and to wax fat of the goods of the church. Moreover, in divers and innumerable places of Christendom Antichrist taketh away the corn and the best fruits of benefices from the true and faithful pastors, wherewith they should live and such as belong to them, and be the more able to maintain hospitality, to relieve the poor, to comfort the wayfaring man, and to succor the poor afflicted Christians; and he giveth it to monstrous monks, to flattering friars, to chattering canons, to pattering priests, and to such-like unprofitable members of the Christian commonwealth: whereby it is come to pass that the true shepherds, which watch over those flocks of the Lord, are most miserably handled, unjustly and against all right and conscience deprived of their duty, and thrown (alas for pity!) into extreme poverty; hospitality decays, the poor are not succored, the needy are not relieved, yea, nothing is done in those parishes by the pastors whereby the comfortless may be comforted. No marvel, when the pastors themselves have not wherewith to relieve their own necessity, but are compelled daily, as we may see before our eyes (such is their misery), to leave their flocks, which, as sheep destitute of shepherds, wander here and there, and to seek other places where they may have whereof to live; whereas, if they had that which is due unto them, but otherwise unjustly taken away from them by Antichrist's decree, they should not only be able to live themselves, but also abundantly to relieve the poor.
0 Antichrist, what devil breathed this wicked affection into thy heart, that thou should take away from the painful pastors their right and give it to idle and sluggish monsters, whose God their belly is? The idolatrous princes in times past gave great abundance of worldly possession to their idolatrous priests: and art thou nothing ashamed to take that away from the priests of Christ, which both the law of God and the law of man hath given them? To rob and spoil a private man of his goods hath always been counted an heinous fault and a sin worthy of death; and shall it be lawful for thee, 0 thou Antichrist, to take away from the ministers of Christ their duty and their right, and to give it where it pleaseth thee, 0 thou God-robber? Is not this to commit sacrilege, and also to deny the workman his meat, the laborer his reward, the shepherd his milk, the vine-keeper his wine, the warrior his wages, and to muzzle the ox's mouth that treadeth out the corn?
And that wicked spirit occupieth their minds also in these our days, which against all right and against their own conscience, unto their great damnation, except they shortly repent and amend, go forth to keep, hold, and possess these livings and goods of the poor pastors. Antichrist, (as they themselves confess - neither can they deny it), by his devilish decree most unjustly and most tyrant-like took away the best portion of the tithes from the true owners, and gave them to a sort of monstrous hypocrites: why then are they now retained of them that seem to be enemies to Antichrist, to condemn his antichristian acts, and to wish that all abuses might be taken away, and that a perfect reformation might be made according to the word of God? Can there be any greater abuse than, according to Antichrist's law, wrongfully and unjustly to withhold from the true pastor and preacher of the Lord's word that which is properly his due? The wise man saith: The bread of the needy is the life of the poor: he that defraudeth him of it is a murderer and a manslayer. What then is to be thought of them which take away from the ministers of the Lord's word the tithe-corn, whereof they should have bread to eat and to give unto the needy? Is not this to play the part of a murderer? The needy pastor and his family would gladly eat bread; and the corn whereof it should be made is taken away from them, and unfruitfully consumed and devoured of those which do no good at all to the parishes. Is not this to pluck the meat out of the mouths of the pastor and his family? Is not this nothing less than to play the murderer? I deserve damnation if I feed not the needy: shall it then be lawful for me to take away the right of the needy? If I give not of mine own to the hungry, I sin; and shall I be counted to do well when I will not suffer other men to enjoy their own, but through the pretence of an antichristian decree violently withhold it from them? Verily, it were better for such as thus unjustly, by the virtue of Antichrist's law, possess the lawful duties of the lawful pastors, to render those duties to the true owners, though their delicate fare should somewhat be abated thereby, than to go forth thus wickedly to retain what is not their own.
What doth it profit a man, saith our Saviour Christ, to win the whole world, and to lose his soul? It is truly said of the wise man: Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with sorrow, Again: Better is a dry morsel with quietness (of conscience), than a house full of fat offerings with strife; that is to say, with grief of mind. Once again he saith: Better it is to have a little thing with righteousness, than great treasures with sorrow. Moreover, the blessed apostle St. Paul, in the description of a bishop or spiritual pastor, sheweth that he ought to be a maintainer of hospitality, Now what hospitality can there be maintained, where those things are taken away that chiefly uphold and maintain hospitality, yea, without which no hospitality can be had? Take away corn, whereof bread and drink is made, which is the best portion that belongs unto the maintenance of hospitality, and what remains behind wherewith the pastor may be able to keep open his doors, and to relieve either himself or any other? ….. God have mercy on us, and send us once a redress of this great abuse, yea, of this theft, sacrilege, and tyranny!
Furthermore, God by his prophet commandeth that all manner of tithes should be brought into his barn, that there may be meat in his house. Is not the pastor's barn his barn? and is not the pastor's house his house? Now God commandeth that all tithes should be brought into the pastor's barn, that there may be meat in the pastor's house. But how can there be meat in the pastor's house, which God calleth his own house, because his poor members are, and ought to be refreshed in the same, when as the chief and principal tithes cannot be suffered, through Antichrist's decree, to be brought into the pastor's barn, which God calleth his own barn? God commandeth one thing, and Antichrist willeth the contrary; and yet the wicked worldlings and voluptuous epicures, whose god the belly is, go forth to maintain the same, and unjustly to possess the goods of the true and faithful pastors; so greatly hath the god of this world blinded their eyes, (I mean the devil and that wicked idol mammon,) that this saying of the apostle may be found true in them: All seek their own, and not the things which are Jesus Christ's. By this wicked decree of Antichrist is the law of God broken, the true pastors deprived of their living, the poor people robbed of their belief, hospitality decayed, parishes left desolate, the pastoral houses fall into ruin, the people are untaught, schools are not maintained, the youth is neglected, both old and young run clean out of order, no degree doth his office, the ministry is despised, the word of God neglected, the preachers of God nothing regarded; and, in fine, a whole sea of evils has burst into the bounds of the Christian commonwealth; and I would pray God with the same there was not made shipwreck of all goodness and godliness! Notwithstanding, who laments these things, earnestly seeking redress? God amend all that is amiss and send corn where none is!
82. Christ, in all his doctrine teaching humility, when a certain man called him good, answered that no man is good but God alone.
Antichrist, being most wicked and most sinful, will be called the best and the most holy.
83. Christ continually studied to do good, both to the bodies and souls of men.
Antichrist doth his whole endeavor how he may hurt both the bodies and souls of men; the bodies, by bringing them and their goods into captivity; the souls, by drowning them in superstition and idolatry.
84. Christ in all his doings sought the glory of God his Father.
Antichrist in all his acts seeketh his own glory, and wishes to be thought of all men as a god, calling himself God's vicar in earth, and supreme head of the universal church of Christ throughout the whole world.
85. Christ freely promised paradise to the thief hanging by him on the cross.
Antichrist for money promises remission of sins, deliverance out of purgatory,
and everlasting life.
86. Christ had no great regard of them that were his kinsfolk after the flesh.
Antichrist hath special regard unto them, and exalteth them unto most high dignities and promotion, although most unworthy.
87. Christ, when his disciples at any time were at contention, brought them again straightway unto unity and concord.
Antichrist setteth them together by the ears that are at peace, and never ceases
to set kings and princes at variance. For then goes it best with his kingdom.
88. Christ did choose such to attend upon him as were homely, simple and plain.
Antichrist admitteth none unto his service but such as be full of guile, craft, and subtlety.
89. Christ compelled no man against his will to believe his gospel.
Antichrist, with suspension and excommunication, with apprehension and persecution, with fire and fagot, with sword and halter, forces men to receive his devilish decrees and trifling traditions.
90. Christ in all his adversity fled unto prayer.
Antichrist in his trouble flieth unto armor.
91. Christ fought against Satan with God's word.
Antichrist fights against his adversaries with the temporal sword.
92. Christ made himself subject to the law when notwithstanding he was Lord of the law.
Antichrist himself will be obedient to no law, and for money giveth license to break laws.
93. Christ, by fulfilling the law, delivered us from the curse of the law.
Antichrist, through his disobedience unto laws, openeth a window unto all wickedness, and through his evil example provokes others to fall unto lewdness, and so to run into the curse and displeasure of God, unto their great damnation.
94. Christ in his doctrine taught none other but the law of his heavenly Father.
Antichrist teacheth laws of his own making, not only not agreeable, but also
contrary to the word of God, and with violence forces men to keep them.
95. Christ by no means could abide that his disciples should strive for the supremacy.
Antichrist challenges his supremacy not only over the clergy, but also over kings and emperors, yea, and over the whole world.
96. Christ, by his doctrine and death, made the Jews and gentiles one spiritual kingdom, which before were at variance,.
Antichrist, through his wicked traditions and devilish laws, hath made the Greek and Latin churches to be at variance, one affirming this, another denying the same, which before were at great unity and concord concerning matters of Christian religion.
97. Christ in his last sermon gave a special commandment to his disciples that they should love one another.
Antichrist straitly chargeth his champions, that they strive and fight valiantly for the liberties of holy church and that they by no means love and favor such as hate his decrees and laws.
98. Christ, in the aforesaid sermon, making mention of his bodily departure out of this world, promised to send to his disciples the Holy Ghost, which should lead them into all truth.
Antichrist instead of the Holy Ghost sends pardoners, friars, canonists, and Scotists, to teach us not the way of truth and salvation, but the way of falsehood and damnation.
99. Christ in his holy gospel teacheth that, although he be absent concerning his bodily presence, yet is he always present with his holy congregation as touching his divine majesty, grace, might, virtue, and power.
Antichrist saith that Christ is not only spiritually, but also bodily with us; so that the priest makes him daily, handles him daily, breaks him daily, eats him daily. offers him daily, etc.
100. Christ with his doctrine brings remission of sins and everlasting life to all them that receive it with sure faith.
Antichrist with his decrees bringeth to all his captives death and everlasting damnation.
Give the glory to God alone.
 “Young nobleman of high rank.” (Webster)
 “A man of the common people; an impertinent or rude fellow….” (Webster)
 “The vessel, tabernacle or container used ecclesiastically to hold the reserved sacrament on the altar or Holy Table or to carry the Eucharist to the sick.” (Webster)
 “A glass vessel used to hold wine or water for altar service.” (Webster)
 Meaning visibly to the eye only, appearance without the substance.
 Becon refers to a legend originating in the Middle Ages concerning the Antichrist’s powers.
 Becon refers to the Catholic doctrine which declares legal and necessary painted images of biblical characters and scenes for the alleged purpose of teaching the illiterate laity. He infers that the Catholic Church should then allow the ‘painting’ of Scripture verses as well: i.e., why not write Scripture in large, painted letters on the walls?
 Works “performed beyond the call of duty.” (Webster)
 Gadder: “One that travels about habitually, restlessly, or with chiefly social purposes.” (Webster)
 “A Wednesday, Friday or Saturday in any of the four weeks commencing on the first Sunday in Lent…..set apart for fasting and prayer and observed esp. by the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches.” (Webster)
 “One who said morrow-mass.” (Footnote in Parker publication.)
 Possibly meaning those who chop off their hair?
 Groat: “A British coin worth four-pence.” (Webster)
Dirge: “The Office of the Dead in the Roman Catholic Church;” also, “A psalm sung for the departed soul in the Roman Catholic Church.” Therefore, a dirge-groat is payment made for such a song to be sung.
 “A series of 30 Roman Catholic masses for the dead usually celebrated 30 consecutive days.” (Webster)
 “The seventh and last of the canonical hours: the last liturgical prayer said after nightfall or just before retiring.” (Webster)
 Beadmen: probably those who use religious beads in prayers, such as the Rosary.
Paternoster: Latin for ‘Our Father.’